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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
8+ 60 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Thomas Liesching

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Zoch

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Product Description

In the wild rapids of the Niagara River, fearless canoers battle the water and each other to collect gems along the riverbank. Of course, the most valuable gems are found furthest down-river, close to the waterfall. Yes, there is a waterfall, and careless canoers can fall over the waterfall. Also, players must return collected gems to land in order to be counted. At the end, the player who collects the most value in gems is the winner.

Players play on a 3D board, representing the Niagara River and the falls. Canoes float down the river as the river flows, but players can row their canoes up-river or down-river to collect gems, to return them to shore, and to avoid the waterfall. This game is great fun for the family, but is strategic and gives players the chance to plan and steal from one another.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Family Game Nominee, 2006
Mensa Best Mind Game Award
Best Mind Game, 2005
Spiel des Jahres
Game of the Year, 2005
Deutscher Spiele Preis
2nd place, 2005

Product Information


  • 1 game board
  • 12 river discs
  • 10 canoes
  • 35 paddle cards
  • 1 rainmaker marker
  • 1 life preserver
  • 40 gems
  • 1 rule booklet
Niagara has the following expansions available:

Spirits of Niagara English language edition of Flussgeister am Niagara Out of Stock

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.2 in 13 reviews

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by Joe Blow
A Decent Family Strategy Game For Older Kids And Adults
May 23, 2010

A fun game to play with your family, but has it's downsides as well. First off, the game and pieces themselves are all nicely made and very appealing. I think the younger kids will enjoy the look of the game more than they will the gameplay. We have played this game numerous times and it seems every time we play, we still need to refer to the rules before playing and several times during gameplay. I think my wife and I enjoy playing more than the kids, as it is more of a strategy game than anything else. Our teenager also enjoys playing more than our 10 yearold, but the game seems to take such a long time to play that about halfway through both of them tend to get bored and lose interest.

We also have the Spirits of Niagara companion set that goes with this game and it can add a little more excitement to the game, but is not necessary to play. The rules are not well spelled out for the companion set, so we don't use most of those pieces. They also make the game quite a bit more difficult for the younger gamers.

With most games, the first time you play it, you can judge whether or not you will actually have fun playing it, but that doesn't seem to be the case with this game. The first time you play it you will not have too much fun because you will be worried about following the rules and will not get involved with strategy of it. The more you play, the more fun you will have at it. Will everyone enjoy this game?...No, but it can be exciting and a good game to play every once in awhile. I would recommend playing it on a game night with other games, but that can also be a problem if the game takes too long to play, which it often does. If you are looking for just a fast, fun family game to play on family night with younger kids, then this is not it, but if you are looking for a challenging game that takes time to learn and can hold the adults interests, then this is the right game.

Overall this is a good solid game for families, but it is definitely more of a strategy game that is more fun for the adults and older kids to play.

by Matt Hiske
One of the Best
November 26, 2007

Wonderful game! The most innovative and creative game in years. Family and friends will love playing this guaranteed! Easy enough to play with children and strategic enough for adults.

by Brad N.
The more we play it, the better it gets
March 12, 2007

The first time we played this game, we were all impressed with the aesthetics of the game. The colorful gems and canoes were great and the discs going over the waterfall are very neat. We were either paying too much attention to the game's good looks or not enough attention to the rules because we all agreed that the first game was pretty clumsy.

We tried it again a few weeks later and everyone enjoyed the game much more. The rules are not complex, but there are a decent number of "you can only do this when that" type of rules and new players tend to forget them or get a bit confused. Now, when we play the game everyone has a good time and employs different strategies to get (and steal) the right gems. And, now that we are all comfortable with the rules, the game is no longer clumsy.

With some members of my gaming group, having a pretty game helps. Of course, the game play is the most important thing to everyone, but a good-looking game is always nice. This game brings both to the table. It's not rocket science, but there is more than enough strategy to keep this light game very interesting.

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